Brynna Maxwell Records Big Second Half To Help Utah Defeat Washington

Jan 3, 2021, 5:02 PM
Brynna Maxwell Utah Women's Basketball...
Utah Utes guard Brynna Maxwell (11) and forward Andrea Torres (3) celebrate after scoring as the Utes take the lead over the UCLA Bruins at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah women’s basketball picked up a big 84-61 win over the Washington Huskies with the help of Brynna Maxwell in the second half.

Utah women’s basketball snapped a four-game losing streak with Brynna Maxwell scoring 24 points, all in the second half. It’s the third win of the season and the second victory in Pac-12 play.

The Huskies fell to 5-5 overall and 1-6 in conference play.

Utah Women’s Basketball Takes Small Lead At Halftime

In the opening half, Maxwell had 0 points on 0-for-3 from the field and missed two attempts from downtown. Lola Pendande led the Utes with 6 points and they had a 31-28 halftime lead. Utah head coach Lynne Roberts talked about her message to the team at halftime.

“I told them let’s just play a little more confidently,” Roberts said. “I thought offensively we can get good looks. But we were just kind of rushing and we didn’t seem real sure of ourselves. That can happen from losing a couple in a row and in this conference, until you really get momentum, it’s hard and so I just told them to keep doing what we were doing. I thought defensively we were great all game. Offensively, we were executing okay, we just were a little rushed. I just said ‘let’s not worry about mistakes. Let’s not worry about missed shots. Let’s be a little more confident.’ So, just tried to pump them up a little bit, give them a little sunlight and it worked. They did a nice job. We were just a lot more poised in the second half, which was fun to see.”

Maxwell Gives Utah Much Needed Second Half Spark

To start the second half, Maxwell started heating up, scoring 9 points and knocked down one three-pointer and made four of her five free throw attempts. The Utes outscored the Huskies 24-17 and had a 55-45 lead entering the fourth quarter. That’s when Maxwell went off, scoring 15 points on 3-for-3 shooting from the floor, 2-of-2 from downtown and nailed all seven of her free throw attempts.

“She uncharacteristically hadn’t scored a bucket in the first half,” Roberts stated. “But I thought defensively she was doing great. You always just kind of assume the next ones in with her. When she gets going like that it’s really fun to watch, even from the bench. It’s fun to watch her, she’s got such a quick release and when she’s feeling it like that, you know, pretty confident she’s gonna make shots.”

Maxwell finished the game with 24 points and 4 rebounds, while shooting 5-for-10 from the field, 3-of-6 from deep and 11-for-12 at the foul line. Pendande added 10 points, 6 rebounds and a block. Niyah Becker gave the Utes a spark off the bench with 12 points, including 9 in the second half. Utah had 30 bench points. Dru Gylten had 10 points and 7 assists.

The Utes improved to 3-5 overall and 2-5 in Pac-12 play. They will be on the road this week to face the Southern California schools beginning on Friday night against USC at 7 p.m. MST on the Pac-12 Networks.

Then they will travel to UCLA on Sunday, January 10 at 2 p.m. MST on the Pac-12 Networks.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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Brynna Maxwell Records Big Second Half To Help Utah Defeat Washington